One of the most discussed subjects in the golfing industry is the rate of Value Added Tax (VAT) levied on a round of golf, and the often huge variances in duty between proprietary clubs and members clubs.
The rate of VAT in the UK is expected to rise soon and if it does the competitive ‘gap’ between proprietary and private member clubs will become even wider. But there are European Golf Course Owners Association (EGCOA) and English Golf Union (EGU) initiatives which aim to tackle this problem.
The matter is a hot topic throughout Europe. From 25 per cent on yearly fees and green fees in Denmark for ‘commercial’ courses and a zero rate for noncommercial courses, to golf course owners in countries like the Netherlands who pay a lower rate of just six per cent, the subject of VAT is often cause for concern to many golf course owners.
Various VAT levels result in false competition between golf clubs and can have a detrimental effect on the development of the game with the ‘commercial’ clubs – who traditionally promote and teach new golfers – having to charge VAT whilst their ‘non-commercial’ counterparts do not.
Various national tax authorities in the European Union treat commercial and non-commercial golf courses different for VAT. The EGCOA sees this as a serious case of distortion of competition.
Therefore, the EGCOA has launched a working group in cooperation with the English Golf Union to work on the VAT polices and regulations affecting the golf business.
The EGCOA aims at equalizing the VAT level that golf owners pay throughout the whole European Union.
Much has already been said and written on this subject and access to much of this information can be gained through the EGCOA website.
European Golf Course Owners Association www.egcoa.eu
English Golf Union www.englishgolfunion.org